A festival of experimental circus, the third iteration of Circus Oz’s Sidesault at The Melba returns from 7 November to challenge and push the notions of contemporary circus.
Featuring six national and international circus artists and companies, including a First Nations circus company: Na Djinang and a feminist circus ensemble: GUSH, Sidesault at The Melba includes stunning new visual artworks interplaying with spectacular physical feats; and a range of stories from lost cultural identity through to a plain old-fashioned quest for revenge.
Co-curated by Circus Oz Senior Artistic Associate: Antonella Casella and The Melba Spiegeltent Producer: Brian Robertson, Sidesault at the Melba gives circus artists the license to take creative risks.
“With Sidesault now in its third year, we’re starting to see contemporary circus evolve at a grassroots level. Artists and performers are drawing from dance, burlesque and visual art to explore different ways of moving an audience through physical storytelling,” said Robertson.
“The artists programmed this year are really pushing the boundaries – it’s exciting to watch. We hope that audiences will relish the chance to experience something totally new at this year’s Sidesault,” he added.
The 2019 Sidesault at The Melba shows include:
Performances: 7 – 10 November – 6.45pm
An award-winning one-woman circus revenge. An absurdist story delivered through tight wire, trapeze and tomato throwing. A relentlessly ferocious circus show brutality balanced by beauty aided and abetted by Ken Fanning of Tumble Circus. (Perth – Australia / Ireland) Creative: Angelique Ross
Performances: 7 – 10 November – 8.00pm
Understanding others’ innermost narratives is an inherent curiosity of humankind. Invisible Things uncovers the internal memoirs of one of Australia’s acclaimed contemporary performance artists. Alex Mizzen will perform in an uncompromising space and present an insightful solo show that will reveal the confined, yet exposed, nature of our internal meditations. This is not just a performance – it is an invitation to make the invisible, visible. (Brisbane – Australia) Creative: Alex Mizzen
Never (in the history of calm down has anyone calmed down by being told to) Calm Down
Performances: 7 – 10 November – 9.15pm
Never (in the history of calm down has anyone calmed down by being told to) Calm Down turns the microscope up to forensic on the perversions of person-hood caused by the need to be nice. Maude Davey, Rebecca Church and Anna Lumb are rebellious, lewd, unmanageable and loud in this busted open dis-traditional un-variety bang up. Circus! Burlesque! Shrieking! (Melbourne – Australia) Creatives: Maude Davey, Rebecca Church and Anna Lumb
Performances: 14 – 17 November – 6.45pm
Haunted by ghostly characters, condemned by ancient misdemeanours and cast out to wander the world between the restrained and the outlandish, Mutating Roots explores a Japanese woman’s identity away from her cultural home through physical challenges of circus and movement. She must navigate assumptions and stereotypes, both cultural and gendered, finding herself becoming a lost cultural being. This is a strange and otherworldly performance that will shatter expectations of how this woman should behave. (Brisbane – Australia / Japan) Company: GUSH Creatives: Mayu Muto and Celia White.
Performances: 14 – 17 November – 8.00pm
Subjective Spectacle transforms The Melba Spiegeltent into a gallery space to explore our relationship to spectacles through performance, installation, visual art and the moving image. Watch performance artists Naomi Francis, Skye Gellmann and Rockie Stone alongside visual works by Kimberley Brewster, Lowana Davies and Mindy Davies draw out questions in relation to identity and art; and asking: what is spectacular? (Melbourne & Sydney – Australia)
Performances: 14 – 17 November – 9.15pm
In a 21st Century world where it is common to believe in both in spirituality and science – how can we navigate the complex dialogues that consume contemporary culture? Common Dissonance follows the story of two performers with shared and distinctly individual experiences as they search for balance. This work aims not only to explore the harmony and conflict of contemporary Australian reasoning, but also to find a common dissonance. (Melbourne – Australia) Company: Na Djinang Circus Creatives: Harley Mann and Isabelle Champagne-Chittick (First Nations)
Sidesault at The Melba
The Melba Spiegeltent, 35 Johnston Street, Collingwood
Season: 7 – 17 November 2019
Information and Bookings: www.melbaspiegeltent.com.au
Image: Subjective Spectacle – courtesy of Kimberley Brewster